Whole Eggs or Egg Whites, Which Is Better?

A carton of eggs.
A carton of eggs | Image by Alexandr Macovetchi/Shutterstock

Are eggs really good for you? And if so, what part is best for you?

Eggs have long been considered a staple ingredient in many dishes, but they also stand out on their own, especially as a breakfast item.

The American Heart Association reported in 2018 that this food item yields a number of health benefits, including its low-calorie count and an abundance of protein and nutrients that aid in bone and immune system health.

Both the yolk and the egg white contain beneficial protein; however, because the white takes up more of the volume of the egg, it contains the majority of the protein, according to USA Today.

Eggs contain vitamins A, B12, B2, B5, D, and E, choline, essential amino acids, calcium, magnesium, potassium, and selenium, as well as lutein and zeaxanthin, both of which are known to be good for the eyes.

Audra Wilson, a bariatric dietitian at Northwestern Medicine Delnor Hospital, noted that this food item is “versatile, portable, affordable and full of nutrition,” according to USA Today.

A large egg typically contains about 78 calories and six grams of protein.

However, this does not mean the consumption of eggs is without any negative aspects or risks. A large egg contains about 186 mg of cholesterol, according to the Mayo Clinic. This cholesterol content is concentrated primarily in the yolk.

This substance is essential for bodily function, but an overabundance of it can lead to a number of health complications. The CDC reports hyperlipidemia, or high cholesterol, is a risk factor for heart disease and stroke.

Heart disease and cancer were recorded as the leading causes of death in Dallas County, and heart disease is also a leading cause of death nationally.

However, the Mayo Clinic notes that high cholesterol could be more strongly associated with the items commonly paired with eggs at a meal, such as bacon or sausage, or the method in which the eggs are cooked, such as fried in oil.

CDC officials claim that decreased cholesterol in one’s diet is associated with a reduced risk for adverse cardiovascular conditions.

Walter Willett, a professor of epidemiology and nutrition at Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health, told USA Today that while eggs have many health benefits, some health professionals recommend limiting their consumption because of their high cholesterol content.

The American Heart Association recommends that consumers limit their consumption to just one per day, or two egg whites per day, to maintain a healthy diet.

By simply consuming the white of the egg instead of the whole egg, one can avoid the cholesterol but still reap the benefits of its protein. However, this approach denies the consumer the vitamins and minerals that are found primarily in the yolk.

The final determination on whether to eat whole eggs or egg whites may depend on a person’s health goals, which should be discussed with one’s healthcare provider.

“It is always important to check in with your healthcare provider before making any major changes to your diet, lifestyle or supplementation,” said Willett, according to USA Today.

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